Tips for shar­ing va­ca­tion time with fam­ily and friends

The Idaho Statesman (Sunday) - - EXPLORE - BY LYNN O’ROURKE HAYES Fam­i­ly­travel.com

Trav­el­ing with mul­ti­ple fam­ily mem­bers and friends can be fun and fes­tive. Or, fraught with com­pli­ca­tions.

Proper plan­ning can go along way to­ward keep­ing re­la­tion­ships and ex­pec­ta­tions in­tact.

Here are five tips:

1. CHOOSE WISELY

Give care­ful con­sid­er­a­tion to the fam­i­lies and friends with whom you choose to share your pre­cious va­ca­tion time. Your fa­vorite cousin is a great sto­ry­teller at the Thanks­giv­ing ta­ble but are you game for an ex­tended visit? Par­ents you know from the side­lines of the soc­cer field might show dif­fer­ent col­ors in a hol­i­day set­ting away from your home­town. Con­sider host­ing a ca­sual plan­ning party to dis­cuss spe­cific des­ti­na­tions and de­tails be­fore mak­ing fi­nal plans.

2. SHAR­ING

Fam­ily groups of­ten choose to share a ski cabin, beach house or ur­ban condo. That can mean divvy­ing up ex­penses, trans­porta­tion, room as­sign­ments, clean­ing and cook­ing. Be sure to have a clearly de­fined plan be­fore your hol­i­day gets un­der­way to avoid mis­un­der­stand­ings. If you sense close quar­ters could be un­com­fort­able, sug­gest stay­ing in a re­sort or ho­tel where in­di­vid­ual rooms will pro­vide each fam­ily more time on their own.

3. BRING HELPERS OR RE­SEARCH LO­CAL OP­TIONS

With a covey of kids, bring­ing along help­ing hands can save san­ity. Your fa­vorite neigh­bor­hood teen might jump at the chance to help out in ex­change for a few dol­lars and the op­por­tu­nity to ex­pe­ri­ence your cho­sen des­ti­na­tion. Trade time off dur­ing the day for evening duty, so grown-ups can en­joy a quiet din­ner or a night on the town. Check with your re­sort or the lo­cal Con­ven­tion and Vis­i­tor’s Bu­reau for re­li­able child­care rec­om­men­da­tions.

4. STYLE MAT­TERS

Not ev­ery­one’s va­ca­tion at­ti­tudes and par­ent­ing styles are in sync. Be­fore de­par­ture, con­sider dis­cussing is­sues rang­ing from bed­time and use of tech­nol­ogy to strate­gies for han­dling meal time and cleanup with the other adults. Then share ex­pec­ta­tions with your fam­ily be­fore the fun be­gins. If your chil­dren typ­i­cally make their beds, min­i­mize TV time and eat what they are served, it can be awk­ward if their travel pals are watch­ing car­toons while wait­ing for a par­ent to cre­ate a cus­tom waf­fle and squeeze or­ange juice.

5. PLAN PRI­VATE TIME

No mat­ter how much you are en­joy­ing your va­ca­tion bud­dies, carve out pri­vate time with your own fam­ily as a group and in­di­vid­u­ally. Whether you take walks on the beach, shop, grab a sand­wich or visit a lo­cal mu­seum on your own, don’t head for home with­out catch­ing up with your clan. You’ll be glad you made the ef­fort once your reg­u­lar rou­tine re­sumes.

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